God Is Real, No Matter How You Feel

“The Lord has hidden Himself from His people, but I trust Him and place my hope in Him” (Isaiah 8:17 TEV).

It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life—when He has provided food, friends, family, health, and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant. How do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant.

Friendships are often tested by separation and silence; you are divided by physical distance or you are unable to talk. In your friendship with God, you won’t always feel close to Him.

Philip Yancey has wisely noted, “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other” (Reaching for the Invisible God, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000; 242).

That’s when worship gets difficult.

To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation—times when it feels as if He has abandoned or forgotten you—when He feels a million miles away. St. John of the Cross referred to these days of spiritual dryness, doubt, and estrangement from God as “the dark night of the soul.” Henri Nouwen called them “the ministry of absence.” A. W. Tozer called them “the ministry of the night.” Others refer to “the winter of the heart.”

Besides Jesus, David probably had the closest friendship with God of anyone. God took pleasure in calling him “a man after My own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Yet David frequently complained of God’s apparent absence:

• “Lord, why are You standing aloof and far away? Why do You hide when I need You the most?” (Psalm 10:1 LB).

• “Why have You forsaken me? Why do You remain so distant? Why do You ignore my cries for help?” (Psalm 22:1 NLT).

• “Why have You abandoned me?” (Psalm 43:2 TEV; see also Psalm 44:23 TEV; Psalm 88:14 MSG; Psalm 89:49 LB).

Of course, God hadn’t really left David, and He doesn’t leave you. He has promised repeatedly, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 37:28; John 14:16–18; Hebrews 13:5).

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.


SIGN UP FOR PASTOR RICK’S FREE DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

SIGN UP FOR DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

Special Offer

transformed-gift-bottom-left2

Transformed Audio Series and Worship Music Album

Would you like to become all that God intended you to be? You can, but not on your own power. In these messages Pastor Rick shows you how to unlock the promises in God's word to TRANSFORM your life in eight key areas...from the inside out. You’ll want to add this life changing teaching to your library of Christian teaching. We’ll also send you the Transformed Music CD, a sound track for life-change, featuring eight of today’s best worship songs and two original worship songs.

REQUEST YOUR COPY

On the Radio

transformed-currentseries-bottom-right

Transformed Audio Series

If you're like most people - every new year - you've tried to make positive changes and then given up or slidden back into old destructive patterns. Here's the good news, with God's help you can make and maintain positive changes in every area of your life. Let Pastor Rick show you how unlocking the promises in God's word and following his instructions will TRANSFORM your life in seven key areas...from the inside out.

Purchase this seriesListen to this series